Posted on June 1, 2012 by


Coach David Cohen

Dear Dave,

I noticed a substantial price difference between the grass-fed and grass-finished beef at my local market.  Is grass ‘finished’ beef really worth the extra money?



Dear Lynne,

 The fact is that most beef are grass fed for a substantial portion of their life.  It is the finishing that makes the difference.  This is one of the latest health food ‘scams’ – boldly labeling beef with ‘NATURAL, GRASS FED’.  Any producer that is worth their weight in beef will include the fact that their animals are ‘GRASS-FINISHED.‘   A truly grass-finished animal will never step one hoof on a feed lot.

There are several both REAL and FAIR reasons why grass-finished costs more.  At the core is the fact that corn-finished beef is a mass produced industrial commodity.  This makes it cheap.  Feed lots produce as much weight in beef in as little time and space as possible.  This intensive production puts a huge stress on the animals which usually requires them to be given antibiotics just to make it to slaughter.  Raising animals on pasture keeps their stress way down – but also takes longer and does not lend itself to the industrial model.  Herds are smaller, weight gain slower, and more care is given to each animal.  Grass fed beef has a higher price and higher quality.

If you are not accustomed to cooking with grass-finished beef you should give yourself some room to experiment as it takes less heat and can overcook more than its corn-fed counterpart.  I suggest finding a local grower (try the farmer’s market) and asking them how to best prepare their beef.  One of my new weekend activities is trying new cuts that I am unfamiliar with….short ribs are the current favorite!

One burger at a time,


Posted in: Ask Dave